An early morning traffic crash near North Fourth Street and Garland Avenue caused a power outage at the Cameron Park Zoo and led to the arrest of a man police said caused the crash and fled the scene.

Utility crews and emergency personnel closed North Fourth Street to traffic before 8 a.m. Tuesday, Cameron Park Zoo director Jim Fleshman said. It appeared a car had struck and damaged a utility pole, Fleshman said.

"It appears it was a transformer pole, but it definitely knocked out our power," he said Tuesday morning. "At 9 a.m., we decided to close the zoo, most likely for the rest of the day as Oncor said we can expect power to be off until 4:30 p.m."

The zoo remained closed all day Tuesday and will reopen during its regular hours Wednesday.

Police determined a pickup truck driven by Michael Lynn Simms, 51, crashed into the utility pole at about 7:45 a.m. Simms attempted to leave the area, but his truck was damaged and broke down about a block away, near the intersection of Fourth Street and Ellis Avenue, Waco police Officer Garen Bynum said.

After his truck broke down, police found Simms walking on Herring Avenue, Bynum said. Simms was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of failure to stop and identify.

Simms was booked into McLennan County Jail, where he remained Tuesday night. Bond information was not immediately available.

Fleshman said the zoo is equipped with emergency and portable generators to provide power for animals that need a constant heat source to survive and for other animal life-support needs.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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